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Lawyer, locals start bid to remove DPP Keriako Tobiko from office

COUNTIES
By Kamau Muthoni | April 7th 2016

Two petitions seeking to remove Director of Public Prosecution Keriako Tobiko from office have been filed.

The petitioners allege conflict of interest in Malili Ranch case and failure to prosecute Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua.

The first petition to Public Service Commission (PSC) was filed by lawyer Nelson Havi, who alleged that the DPP (pictured) appointed a lawyer for the accused person to be the State prosecutor.

In the second petition, a section of Machakos residents want the DPP removed from office because of failing to prosecute their Governor Alfred Mutua over graft allegations.

Havi said lawyer Paul Muite has acted for former Law Society of Kenya president Eric Mutua although he was given the mandate to prosecute the case and at the same time Mutua had also acted for Tobiko in a case and also sits in his advisory board. Havi claimed it was a ploy to bungle the case. "The appointment was justified on the claim that Tobiko was conflicted on account of the fact that Mutua sits in the DPP's advisory board. Tobiko did not disclose that the real and actual conflict was that Mutua was his advocate in petition No. 101 of 2011," Havi said.

On the other hand, the residents allege that the DPP has slept on his job for failing to charge Mutua despite there being no orders in the Court of Appeal stopping the same. The High Court on February 5 lifted temporary orders, which had been given to the governor. The  orders were meant to block prosecution over alleged irregular purchase of 15 Subaru cars and a Toyota Land Cruiser.

 "From February 5, the DPP has had nothing in law stopping him from charging Mutua in court and yet he has deliberately failed to do so. His failure to do so is against the spirit of the Constitution and falls short of what is expected of him as a very key State officer," a document signed by 10 Machakos residents reads.

The law stipulates that a person desiring the removal of the DPP may present a petition to PSC.

The grounds on which the DPP can be removed from office are inability to perform the functions of office arising from mental or physical incapacity, non-compliance with chapter six of the Constitution, touching on leadership and integrity, bankruptcy, incompetence or gross misconduct.

Once PSC considers the petition, and if satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for removal, it has to send it to the President.

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